Open Box CD Package

Carla Harryman & Jon Raskin


Belladonna* Collaborative announces a Special Edition of Open Box by poet Carla Harryman and Musician and Composer Jon Raskin, comprising the book Open Box: Improvisations (Belladonna, 2007) the CD Open Box (Tzadik, 2012), and a broadside interview designed by HR Hegnauer. Music and reading performances are by: Liz Albee, Carla Harryman, Aurora Josephson, Ava Mendoza, Jon Raskin, Gino Robair, Roham Shikhaini, and John Shiurba.

Open Box as a special broadside edition is limited to a printing of 50 copies available exclusively at Ugly Duckling Presse in Detroit (through May) and direct from Belladonna—quite a limited edition! It will be offered to the next five Belladonna* subscribers at the $100 plus level! Please inquire with Belladonna to subscribe and get this very unique item.

About the Harryman/Raskin CD collaboration

Composer and improviser Jon Raskin and cross-genre poet Carla Harryman collaborate in bringing together music and poetry, using Harryman’s texts as scores for musical interpretation and speaking voices. Improvisation and a thirty-year period of friendship and sharing ideas have resulted in a recording of four music-text works that animate the contingent connections between music and language. Deploying a range of approaches and musical styles—from the elaborately sound edited, collage improvisations of the long-poem Open Box and the text-based score A Sun and Five Decompositions to the more raucous, heavy metal interpretation of Fish Speech and the art music of Song for Asa—Raskin and Harryman reimagine idioms for instrumental and speaking voice improvisation.

About the book

Carla Harryman’s Open Box



“Among the varied collaborations between poets and musicians, or the adaptation of poetry to music, the setting of Carla Harryman’s genre-busting poetry to improvised music by Rova Saxophone Quartet’s Jon Raskin is outstanding… Raskin creates an original sonic world that wraps Harryman’s radical words with chaotic, even disturbing, polyphonic staging—highly suggestive, rich in detail and meticulously arranged.”
—Eyal Harueveni, All About Jazz, on the CD

“Carla Harryman’s Open Box is a meditation-in-process on the possibility of a poetry available to cultural, social and political critique that does not unwittingly reinscribe the political, social and cultural formations (textual and otherwise) against which it is posed. Because Harryman wants to preserve a ‘place,’ if not ‘places,’ for an aesthetic and procedure resistant to reification, she deploys improvisation as writing, as textual practices open to the future and, more ambitiously, to the past, to the written.”
— Tyrone Williams, on the book


Carla Harryman is an innovator in interdisciplinary performance, poetry, and prose. She has authored seventeen books including W— /M— (2013), Adorno’s Noise (2008), Gardener of Stars (2001), and the multi-authored work The Grand Piano, an Experiment in Autobiography: San Francisco, 1975-1980. Her Poets Theater, interdisciplinary, and bi-lingual performances have been presented nationally and internationally. She has received many grants and awards including from The Foundation for Contemporary Art, Opera America Next Stage, Fund for Poetry, and The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.

Jon Raskin has received numerous grants and commissions including an NEA composer grant, a Reader’s Digest/Meet the Composer (1992 & 2000) commission; a Berkeley Symphony commission (1995), and a Headland Center for the Arts Residency 2009. Besides over 30 recordings with Rova, Raskin’s recording experience include Anthony Braxton, Eight (+3) Tristano Compositions 1989 For Warne Marsh (1989), The Bass & the Bird Pond with Tim Berne (1996), Between Spaces with Phillip Gelb, and Dana Reason & Pauline Oliveros, His currents CD’s include Let’s go Juke Box Suite (Not Two) with the Rova Saxophone Quartet, JR Quartet (Rastascan) with Liz Allbee, George Cremaschi and Gino Robair, Music + One (Rastascan) a Improvisation compendium.

Open Box Jon Raskin & Carla Harryman 2012 ~ 7 tracks Tzadik
Open Box
Jon Raskin & Carla Harryman
2012 • 7 tracks
Open Box (Improvisations)
Carla Harryman
2007 • 84 pp. • ISBN: 978-0-9764857-3-5
Belladonna Collaborative